Thursday, April 17, 2008

Tokyo International Forum

This picture was taken last year at the Tokyo Motor show. I found it on the internet:

For some reason, the number of ushers outnumber the number of visitors by abt 10 times!

Today, I went to check out the situation at Tokyo International Forum (one of their main exhibition halls)

It was an elegent building with beautiful architecture. Half of the ceiling and walls are made of glass, thus making full use of the sunlight to illuminate the whole area. Very eco-friendly!! :)

Yup, as expected, the number of ushers did outnumber the number of visitors, by abt 3 times. Everywhere i walked/turned, an usher or security guard will be standing there greeting me.
Instead of the normal barricades/strings used to guide visitors along the exhibition's walking path, this exhibition's path was neatly laid out by ushers standing along both aisles. LOL

The exhibition on today was "New Product Review"

I went in with a very inquisitive mind about what kind of "new" products Tokyo has recently invented? Televisons? Applicancs? Robots? Space craft? or even the latest science breakthrough??

In the end..
guess what??

70% of the displays and exhibitions were about TOILET BOWLS!!! (the remaining 30% were kitchen appliances such as sink, bathtub, shower etc)

Doesn't Japan already have enough variety of toilet bowls?

Most toilet bowls in public toilets are equipt with the "spraying device" (as i call it).
I think the most important function of this device is to warm the toilet bowl seat so that the user can seat comfortably during winter(extremely cold) days.

This is a pic of the standard menu on that "spraying device". Basic functions include, spray, stop, deodorizer and water jet intensity functions.

This pic below shows the most sophicated device I have seen since I arrived in Japan.

Can you even count how many functions/buttons there are??

From left to right: "Stop" button. "water jet spray" button(for the rear). "Bidet" button. "Dry air" button. "Water intensity" knob. Seat sensor. "Clean nozzle" button. "start/pause" button. 2 knobs for "water temperature"(rear and bidet respectively). And lastly, a knob for "Dry air intensity"
WOW... this is really sophisticated...

This is another unique thing i found in a toilet.

The top button is the FLUSH button, whereas the bottom button is for the devices to play (audio) 20 seconds for flushing sound - NOTE: NOT real flushing/water. Its just for discretion purpose.

I recorded down the 20 seconds of "flushing" sound.


In you opinion, does it sound like the real thing???

Tuesday, April 15, 2008


This is a pic of Tokyo which you usually see on postcards. The place is called "Ginza" - one of the higher-end shopping districts in Tokyo.

The neon lights from billboards and buildings light up the place at night

On weekdays, they block off the whole stretch of road for pedestrians.

As recommended by Lonely Planet Guidebook, I went to look for the SONY showroom located there

Its a 4 story building. The first 3 floors featured their newest gadgets - PDA, handphones, mp3 players, speakers, laptops etc etc. Its quite impressive, as most of these models have not reached Singapore(my country) yet.

At least now I get a sneak preview of what will be coming to Singapore in a few months' time.

Check out this newest toy by SONY - Rolly


Its a cool mp3 player/speaker that actually dances to the music!!

Sunday, April 13, 2008


LOOK !!!
why is everyone wearing BLACK?

Is it a funeral going on??


its just the freshmen inaguration ceremony of Tokyo Institute of Technology.

There is something that keeps on puzzling me: Why do Japanese always like to wear BLACK? Ceremonies(happy or sad), to work, functions etc.. everyone just wears BLACK!

Cant they just wear some other brighter colours such as brown, blue, beige etc etc?? BLACK looks so solemn and formal.

Today is the day where the freshmen officially get inaugurated - yup, every single one of them wore BLACK suit and pants. No exception. They were accompanied by their parents, whom mostly wore BLACK too... sigh...

These parents look so happy and excited today as they accompanied their child to school.... apparently, this university happens to be one of the hardest university to get into in Japan. :) Making it into this university is sth quite "honorable"

This ceremony was not meant for exchange/foreign students like me, but for the normal local Japanese undergrads. I tried to crash the event, but my clothes immediately gave me away.. sob sob.

Anyway, with nothing to do, I toured the campus. There are nice sakura trees all around, and many outsiders come in to picnic under the trees

These pics are not pictures of public parks; they are taken in the school campus. Its a beautiful place with many open spaces for people to play/stroll/picnic..

At the other corner, CCA booths were set up to recruit students into their clubs and societies.


The nearest city area from my dorm/school is Shibuya. Naturally, this became the place i visit most often whenever i get to town.

It is also one of the busiest areas in Tokyo, with shopping centres along every road.

Day and Night view of the area.

Me and Emre(from Turkey)

A 10 story high TV screen on a building along a major junction.

This is the picture of the famous Shibuya Hachiko exit cross junction. Like any other cross junction, when the traffic light green man comes on, pedestrians can cross in all directions.
Before the crossing:
Green Man signal just came on:
10 seconds in to the crossing
20 seconds into the crossing:

How many hundred people are there on the road??
No wonder it is cited to be the world's busiest junction.

Heres a video taken from YouTube. The best place catch the action is from a Starbucks cafe on the 2nd floor.

UENO (Pronnounced as "ooh-air-noo")

Its cherry blossom period
UENO - with almost a thousand sakura trees - is undoubtedly ground zero for this festival!

The main street of the park is packed with visitors. Along the sides, groundsheets are laid and the public can book them for their private events/gatherings
People singing/dancing/playing games while picnicing. All sort of food can be seen, from bento sets to liquor... If you get drunk, simple, just lie back on the mat and admire the sakura petals as they fall down.
The petals fall whenever the wind blows. Its a beautiful sight to see the falling petals, but i guess it is also a headache for the roadsweeper.
Nearby, many stalls are set up to cater to the hungry crowd.

This is a basket of dogs. SO CUTE!!!
The owner said they were playful, so he put them in a basket to prevent them from running about.

Nearby the park, at UENO area, theres a place called Ameyoko. It is just a street market that sells all sort of stuff.